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Someone recently asked me why I spend so much time talking about choice. Why it’s such a big deal to me.
Just ask anyone in our country or abroad, who doesn’t have the luxury of choosing his or her own existence because of
• Circumstances and so on….
Though they appear similar, they are worlds apart. When we speak of choice, the inference is that we ‘get to’ pick from the mile long smorgasbord of life: Emphasis on ‘get to’. Everything is on the table. Everything is a possibility. Everything is up for grabs.
What does that mean for you? On any given day you ‘get to’ choose to:
• return to school
• ask for a raise
• seek a promotion
• start your own business
• change jobs
• take a sabbatical
• switch gears
Choice is one big juicy ‘get to.’ It speaks of the freedom to select; to pick something because it’s the absolute best, yummiest, most life quenching of all options.
Decision. Close, but no enchilada.
When a decision is on the table, it’s usually an ‘either or.’ We have some information and, on the basis of the evidence before us, we ‘have to’ make up our minds: Emphasis on ‘have to.’ A decision is more of a judgment; a call we make when we’re out of choices.
Listen in on this example between a career counselor and her client:
“I understand you’d like to change careers; that you’re not as happy as you might be, you’re not making the income you deserve, and you’ve said that you’re certainly not making a difference in the world. What career, job or business would you like to choose?”
In contrast to:
“I understand you’d like to change careers; that you’re not as happy as you might be, you’re not making the income you deserve, and you’re certainly not making a difference in the world.You need to decide if you’re going to take a job at the bank or a job at the mortgage company.”
Noticeable difference, isn’t it?
So how will you use this information?
Today, in this moment, you have a zillion choices before you.
Your ‘come from’ will determine whether you’re choosing or deciding. ‘Come from’ refers to your perspective, the place where you stand in your life, the values that you bring to the game, and how you ‘hold’ yourself.
If you ‘hold yourself’ as competent, smart, creative, trustworthy, compassionate, etc. then it is likely that you will choose today. You will choose to be happy, or not. You will choose to feel gratitude, or not. You will choose to mentor someone, or not. You will choose to take a risk, or not.
Your ‘come from’ (as in “where are you coming from?”) will be that of someone who has self-awareness, self-respect, self-confidence, and so on.
If you ‘hold yourself’ as messed up, a failure, incapable, unreliable, then it is likely that you will decide today. You will decide that you’re not worthy of the job that was just posted. You will decide, in advance, that no one will give you a great recommendation, so why bother even trying. You will decide that life is hard, and so it will be.
Your ‘come from’ will be the failures of your history, and your many successes will fade into obscurity. You will decide that you are not worthy, or you don’t deserve or you’re not enough or loveable. And so it will be.
Did you notice that choice comes from passion, and decision comes from fear?
So tell me,
• What are you choosing today?
• How do you make choices?
• How do you determine whether your choices were ‘good ones?’
• What’s the best choice you’ve ever made? (or at least in your top ten list).
I’d love to hear from you, so please write, and I’ll make every effort to personally answer you. You can reach me at nancy@NancyDSolomon.com.